The Horn River Basin in Northern British Columbia, the largest known shale gas field in Canada, encompasses a number of smaller basins including the Liard Basin, the Cordova Embayment, and the Jean Marie Formation. Many producers have focused their efforts on the Muskwa, Keg River, Liard and Fort Simpson formations.

In certain pockets of the basin, the temperature gradients are much higher than normal and can result in well temperatures as high as 180°C. Cement is very sensitive to temperature and these high bottom hole temperatures can lead to wide temperature gradients over the vertical cement column. These challenges require a cement that can be placed in a well with high circulation temperature but low uphole static temperature. Additionally, Horn River’s remoteness and extremely cold Northern winter conditions pose a number of equipment challenges, demanding the need for extremely robust equipment along with temporary storage and maintenance facilities.


To successfully complete Horn River’s high temperature and increased depth wells, both the producing lateral and uphole sheaths need different but equally effective solutions.

Sanjel Energy’s Thermal 40 and the THERMAmix family of blends deliver a variety of density and performance solutions for wells in the Horn River Basin. These solutions include lead cements ranging from LITEmix lower cost fill blends to ultra-lightweight high strength SUPERLITEmix blends, with capabilities to competently cement the upper wellbore in any situation. These thermally stable cement blends are supported by comprehensive laboratory testing and stringent product quality control programs.

Supporting solutions include the use of Sanjel Energy’s:

  • HTR-2, an effective synthetic retarder that allows safe pump time in high temperatures, but does not dramatically affect compressive strength development
  • WG -6P, a spacer polymer that provides excellent high temperature stability for carrying weighting materials through the horizontal lateral
  • Cempro simulation software to model the entire cement job, delivering assurance that pumping pressures won’t exceed the fracture gradients while optimizing hole cleaning and displacement rates


  • Thermal cements that perform for the life of the well at temperatures as high as 200°C
  • Customized high-temperature spacers that deliver hole and effective hole cleaning
  • Simulated and well-planned jobs that ensure good cement returns, reducing the need for on-the-fly decisions that could affect the wellbore
  • Custom cements that protect the base groundwater during fracturing
  • Producing lateral cements that provide effective fracturing isolation to ensure planned production is obtained